In the days and weeks leading up to last weekend's UFC 108 there were many an MMA pundit predicting doom and gloom for this card's buyrate. BE's own Michael Rome predicted 260-325,000 buys, which have been one of the lowest numbers in recent UFC history. However, it appears that the world's premier MMA promotion completely blew away those projections, if a pair of reports released this week are to be believed.
According to an article on Ringsidenews.com Dana White expects a buyrate in the 400-500,000 range.
On The PPV Numbers: “We were looking at (projected PPV buys) and … our norm is around 500,000, and we think we’re going to fall somewhere between (400,000 and 500,000),” White told reporters. “We’ll see what happens.”
And according to MMAPayout.com their projections indicate a buyrate of 440,000.
A weighted average statistical regression analysis of two different variables - viewership in Countdown to UFC and live gate revenue across 30-40 events – was used to derive a linear equation that allows us to input UFC 108’s respective Countdown viewership (559,000) and live gate revenue ($2 million) in order to determine an expected buyrate figure for the event:
- Countdown Prediction: 488,000
- Live Gate: 400,000
- Weighted average: 444,000 buys
What does this all mean? If true there could be a few factors:
1. Rashad Evans' exposure to the huge TUF 10 audience may have earned him a lot of new fans.
2. The combination of the bad weather across the nation and it being the day after New Year's means there were a lot of people sitting at home Saturday night with nothing to do.
3. The decision to start airing some preliminary fights on Spike is finally paying dividends as this Spike prelim show drew the largest audience yet.
We should get a more accurate estimate from Meltzer any time now but from what we can gather right now this show was a huge success even with all the bad luck that seemed to follow it. Perhaps next time everyone will choose their words more carefully when claiming the UFC has lost momentum.